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Illinois Legislature Passes Hemp Bill

Springfield, IL: The Illinois House of Representatives approved Senate
Bill 1397 by a 67-47 vote on Tuesday to study the potential for growing
industrial hemp in the state. The bill passed through the Senate last
spring and is now awaiting the approval of Gov. George Ryan (R).
The legislation calls for the University of Illinois and Southern
Illinois University to grow hemp to determine its potential as a
statewide cash crop.
Rep. Charles Hartke, (D-Teutopolis), compared growing hemp to the
once-exotic soybean, now a mainstay for Illinois farmers.
"It has potential," Hartke said. "To get to that potential, we have to do
a lot of research and study."
"Illinois will hopefully be joining Hawaii, Minnesota, North Dakota,
Maryland and California as states who are willingly bucking the federal
government's ban on industrial hemp," said Scott Colvin, NORML
Publications Director. "Industrial hemp has a long history as a
successful and useful cash crop."
For more information, please contact Scott Colvin, NORML Publications
Director at (202) 483-5500.

NIDA To Supply Marijuana To 60 San Mateo County AIDS Patients

San Mateo County, CA: The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) will
provide 3,600 marijuana cigarettes to 60 AIDS patients in San Mateo
County for a study on the effectiveness of AIDS-related pain in the
San Mateo County will be the first local government in the country to
distribute marijuana for a medical study. The county will distribute the
marijuana through public health clinics.
The study will be conducted for 12 weeks with the participants smoking
marijuana for six weeks and abstaining for the study's duration. The
study will be tightly monitored, including home visits, from county
health officials. Only AIDS patients who have previously used marijuana
to assist in their treatment will be allowed to participate in the study.
"We don't want to introduce marijuana to someone who hasn't smoked it
before," said study coordinator Jonathan Mesinger.
The government-grown marijuana from the University of Mississippi, which
will be used in the study, will likely contain less tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC) than the marijuana patients in California cultivate on their own,
buy through cannabis buyers' clubs or on the street. Dennis Israelski,
M.D. the chief of infectious diseases and chief research officer for the
San Mateo County Hospitals and Clinics, said the potency level of the
marijuana will not affect the study.
"Because we're not doing a (medical) efficacy study per se, it's not
important," Israelski said. "It will be more important to get feedback on
the potency, and see how it might influence how marijuana is grown on
government farms."
"The federal government has enjoyed a monopoly on growing 'research'
marijuana for almost 25 years," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation
Executive Director. "Due to public pressure from both medical patients
and the scientific community, NIDA is finally making marijuana available
for therapeutic research. None of this would be happening unless voters
in eight states had not recently passed medical marijuana initiatives.
It's a great example of the people leading and the policy-makers
logically following."
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation
Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.

NORML/MAPS Study Shows Vaporizers Reduce Toxins In Marijuana Smoke

San Francisco, CA: Medical marijuana patients may be able to protect
themselves from harmful toxins in marijuana smoke by inhaling their
medicine using an electric vaporizer, according to initial results of a
study by California NORML and Multidisciplinary Association for
Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
The study showed that it is possible to vaporize medically active
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by heating marijuana to a temperature short of
the point of combustion, thereby eliminating or substantially reducing
potentially harmful smoke toxins that are normally present in marijuana
smoke. Vaporizers may therefore substantially reduce what is widely
regarded as the leading health concern associated with marijuana, namely
respiratory harm due to smoking.
NORML and MAPS sponsored the study in the hopes of helping medical
marijuana patients and others reduce the health risks of smoking
marijuana. A major obstacle to approval of natural cannabis by the
Institute of Medicine (IOM) in its 1999 report, "Marijuana and Medicine,"
was that smoking is an unhealthy delivery method. The IOM report failed
to note the possibility of vaporization.
The NORML-MAPS study tested a device called the M1 Volatizer(R), an
aromatherapy vaporizer developed by Alternative Delivery Systems, Inc. It
consisted of an electric heating element in a chamber that radiates heat
downwards over a sample of marijuana contained in a standard bowl. Output
from the vaporizer was analyzed and compared to smoke produced by burning
the sample.
The vaporizer produced THC at a temperature of 185(deg) C. (365(deg) F.)
while completely eliminating three measured toxins - benzene, a known
carcinogen, plus toluene and naphthalene. Carbon monoxide and smoke tars
were both qualitatively reduced by the vaporizer, but additional testing
is needed to quantify the extent of the decrease.
The vaporizer study was undertaken as a follow-up to a previous
NORML-MAPS marijuana smoking device study, which concluded that
vaporizers offered the best prospects for smoke harm reduction:
"Many medical marijuana patients say they prefer vaporizers because they
deliver smoother, less irritating medication," said Dale Gieringer, NORML
California State Coordinator.
NORML and MAPS are currently seeking support for further research and
development of vaporizers. Research is presently underway to explore the
optimal temperature and conditions for vaporization. An additional
$85,000 is needed to provide accurate measurement of carbon monoxide and
other toxins, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Further studies
may be needed to explore alternative device designs and the effects of
different marijuana sample consistency, potency and preparation.
For more information, please contact Dale Gieringer, California NORML
State Coordinator at (415) 563-5858.

California Leads Nation In Drug Offenders In Prison

San Francisco, CA: A new Justice Policy Institute study states that California leads the nation in drug offender imprisonment with a rate of 115 per 100,000 (the national average is 44 per 100,000). In the past three years, more Californians were imprisoned for simple drug possession (38,716) than for sales and manufacturing drugs (35,276). According to the study, in 1980, only 379 Californians were imprisoned for drug possession offenses as opposed to 12,749 in 1999. The study also found that counties with stricter drug law enforcement policies did not experience greater crime or drug use declines, and in most instances, drug arrests and imprisonment rates coincided with crime increases or slower crime decreases. The authors stated that rising rates of drug imprisonment in California were not associated with changes in crime rates. For example, Riverside County's drug possession imprisonment rate is 500 percent greater than Contra Costa County, yet the violent crime rate is 30 percent lower in Contra Costa. "The findings cast serious doubt on prison advocate claims that strict and harsh drug enforcement is effective crime control policy," said Daniel Macallair, co-author of the study. "It is also good news for counties that adopted a more balanced approach to their drug problem." For more information, please contact Daniel Macallair or Deborah Vargas of the Justice Policy Institute at (415) 621-5661 or visit www.cjcj.org.

Bush, Gore Begin To Outline Anti-Drug Programs

Cedar Rapids, IA: While addressing a crowd in Cedar Rapids last Friday, Republican Presidential candidate George W. Bush said the war on drugs "is a cause I will lead" and promised an additional $2.8 billion in spending over five years to fight increased drug use. Bush said the money would be used to create new drug prevention and treatment programs. Using statistics from the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Bush said teenage drug use increased every year during 1992-97. According to the latest data by the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, teenage drug use has declined 21 percent since 1997. "Unfortunately, in the last seven and a half years, fighting drugs has ceased to be a national priority," Bush said. "Drug policy has been pursued without urgency, without energy, without success." "Bush appears 'high' on drug war rhetoric," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director. "To claim that the Clinton administration hasn't vigorously prosecuted the drug war is pure hyperbole. Unfortunately, from NORML's perspective, the Clinton administration has wasted more taxpayers' dollars, arrested and imprisoned more citizens on drug charges - especially for marijuana - than either the Reagan or Bush administrations. Bush's rhetoric is scary and clearly out of touch with most mainstream Americans." Meanwhile, Democratic Presidential candidate Al Gore has proposed $5.3 billion for drug prevention and treatment programs and a national anti-drug media campaign. Gore is also seeking tougher penalties for drug dealers who sell to minors. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.

Department Of Transportation Calls For Drug Testing Lab Investigation

Washington, DC: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is launching an investigation of all 65 federally certified drug testing labs after a case involving an airline pilot raised doubts about a Lenexa, KS lab's validation process. LabOne's questionable validation of urine samples arose during an
administrative hearing before the National Transportation Safety Board for Delta Airlines pilot Doukas Siotkas. Siotkas was fighting to keep his pilot's license after a July 1999 drug test showed a creatinine level of zero. Creatinine levels are measured to verify that a urine sample has not been tampered with and readings of less than 5 milligrams per deciliter is deemed to be substitution of a sample. Creatinine levels are typically low for vegetarians, petite women and people who drink large quantities of water. No further testing was done on the sample and Siotkas was fired. During the safety board's hearing, the Airline Pilots Association challenged the legitimacy of drug test validation and stated that LabOne only provided whole numbers, rather than to a decimal point, which is against federal guidelines. The Federal Aviation Administration allowed Siotkas to keep his license and he was rehired by Delta. The Department of Transportation (DOT) urged the Health and Human Services department to check the validating protocols for all 65 labs. A DOT spokesman said the agency "is concerned other labs may have conducted similar tests without completely implementing all test procedures." For more information, please contact Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director at (202) 483-5500.

Hemp rally message goes up in smoke by Taylor Armerding

A very mellow and nonviolent good afternoon to all of you freedom loving brothers and sisters in the Merrimack Valley from here on the Boston Common. We're behind the big stage at the corner of Beacon and Charles streets with Steven S. Epstein, Esq., of Georgetown, co-founder, treasurer and clerk of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition and editor of the bimonthly periodical Mass Grass. It's Saturday afternoon on the biggest day of Mr. Epstein's year - the 11th annual Freedom Rally to protest marijuana laws in particular and the war on drugs in general. He looks pleased. He should. From an event that drew only a few hundred back in 1989, we are now having a very large time. Large enough to draw at least a half-dozen TV cameras. Large enough to count radio Rock of Boston WBCN-FM among our sponsors. Large enough to draw big-name rappers, rockers, hip-hoppers and folkies to entertain. Large enough to bring Libertarian presidential candidate Harry Browne and U.S. Senate candidate Carla Howell. Large enough to prompt the city to deploy well over 100 cops - and those are just the ones in uniform. As one youth tells it in bold marker on his naked chest: "Undercover cops are wearing pot T-shirts." And of course, the people. Look across the common, and there are people as far as you can see. Maybe there are 65,000, maybe 100,000, maybe more. Nobody really feels like counting them. There are warnings in our Official Guide that the common is a "drug free zone," and that anyone convicted of distributing or intent to distribute a controlled substance faces a mandatory
two year prison term. But there must be a lot of people willing to take that risk. An unmistakable fragrance keeps drifting on the breeze.Uhhhh ... where was I? Oh yeah. Welcome to our world, where almost everybody falls into the immediate-future-of-our-country category, aged 14 to 21, wandering perhaps a bit aimlessly, greeting one another with vacant smiles and special handshakes, lying in the brilliant late summer sun, halfheartedly pumping fists to obscenity-laced rap, talking on cell phones. Welcome to a world of baggy pants, tight pants, tank tops, leather, message T-shirts, pierced noses, tongues, lips, ears, eyebrows, navels and unmentionables. Welcome to pink, blue, orange, green and multi-hued hair, to spikes, dreadlocks and skinheads. Welcome to retro-hippie capitalists hawking everything from food to jewelry, macrame, books, CDs, bumper stickers, posters, belts, pants, shirts and hats, to mugwort joints and "mellow"-tonin. "Take it, and then smoke about 30 minutes later. You'll get the best high you've ever had," says a fiftysomething vendor to a youthful audience. And that, in spite of the very large numbers, may be part of the problem with a rally that, at its center, is supposed to have a serious purpose - to end what organizers and a parade of speakers and entertainers call a $7.5 billion war on Americans who are good, hard-working people who just happen to enjoy marijuana, instead of alcohol, as their recreational drug of choice. The Freedom Rally is, by design, part music festival, part artsy-craftsy marketplace, part pep rally, but most importantly, political action rally. And, of course, to get political troops juiced up and motivated to change the world, it helps if they're not blissed, or blitzed, out. "I want you to be free," Harry Browne told the crowd, to scattered applause. On this day, at least, everybody was feeling free indeed. That meant, of course, free to ignore the message. And it looked like too may of them did. But then Mr. Epstein says hundreds did register to vote Saturday. "Yeah, it's incremental," he says, "but who says the revolution can't be fun?" Taylor Armerding's column appears Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday in the Eagle-Tribune. He may be reached at (978) 946-2213 or at tarmerding@eagletribune.com.Copyright© 2000 Eagle-Tribune Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

OPEN LETTER TO Jack Robinson:

I was greatly disappointed to read about your recent letter to Boston officials asking for a crackdown at the annual anti-drug war protest on the Boston Common. I am a registered Republican who lives and works in Western Massachusetts, and would have considered voting for you until you took that position.
The War on Drugs is a classic example of the sort of big government social engineering experiments Republicans have traditionally opposed. It has corrupted our nation's law enforcement, and vastly expanded the police power of the Federal government. It is noteworthy that despite broad bi-partisan support, continually escalating budgets, and what many lawyers I know call the "drug exception to the Bill of Rights," it has totally failed to stop the manufacturing, distribution or use of drugs. This is not due to lax enforcement of the laws, as you seem to believe, but by the inherent fallibility of a government policy that seeks to stop the supply of a commodity, in the face of a huge demand.
One example may be of some value. In any prison in our nation, illegal drugs are freely available (at greatly inflated black market prices), to any prisoner who wants them. Now, if government can't stop drug use in prisons, the most totalitarian, controlling, high- surveillance environment in our society, how on Earth can we expect it to stop drug use in a free society? Even if we turned our entire nation into a prison, the War on Drugs would still fail.
Perhaps after the election you can take some time to research this issue in more depth. I would be happy to mail to you a copy of "Ending the War on Drugs" (1998, Bridgehampton, NY: Bridge Works Pub. Co.) by Dirk C. Eldredge. Mr. Eldredge is a successful businessman, a life-long conservative Republican, and the former Southern California co-chairman of Ronald Reagan's gubernatorial campaign. After a two year process of investigation and research he came to the conclusion that our nation's drug laws were harmful to America. His analysis is illuminating and a good place to start.
Below are links to several credible sites critical of the War on Drugs. As a fellow conservative I urge you to examine the facts, and reconsider your position. As far as this year's Senate race, I now intend to vote for Ms. Howell, who is taking a much more sophisticated approach to this issue than yourself (not to mention having given a great speech at the protest you called for a police crackdown on).
Aaron Wilson
Belchertown, Massachusetts

http://www.fear.org -- Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (FEAR) is an organization dedicated to reforming our nation's property confiscation laws. A major facet of the war on drugs, drug asset forfeiture is one of it's most egregious (from a conservative perspective) aspects.

http://www.cato.org/realaudio/drugwar/papers/carpenter.html -- A paper from Cato Institute scholar Ted Galen Carpenter entitled "Collateral Damage: The Wide-Ranging Consequences of America's Drug War."

http://www.cato.org/dailys/09-03-99.html -- A commentary on Republican Governor Gary Johnson's recent calls for consideration of ending drug prohibition by Cato Institute President David Boaz.

http://www.cato.org/testimony/ct-dbz061699.html -- The text of David Boaz's recent testimony before Congress on the War on Drugs, entitled "Drug Legalization, Criminalization, and Harm Reduction."

http://www.abanet.org/crimjust/fedreport.html -- A recent American Bar Association Commission report on the federalization of crime. This Commission was chaired by former Attorney General Edwin Meese, and criticized federal mandatory minimum drug laws (among other laws) as having distorted the role of the federal government in law enforcement beyond what the Constitution intends (and at the risk of creating a powerful national police force).

Woody Harrelson Acquitted Of Marijuana Possession Charges

Beatyville, KY: Woody Harrelson's four-year battle against a Kentucky law that does not differentiate between marijuana and industrial hemp came to an end last Thursday, as a jury acquitted the actor of misdemeanor marijuana possession charges. Four years ago, Harrelson planted four hemp seeds in an attempt to challenge a law outlawing the possession of any part of a cannabis plant. If convicted, Harrelson could have faced 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. "I had the opportunity to talk to some of the jurors afterward, and, regardless of what the Supreme Court says and regardless of what the legislators say, those people don't think it's right that someone should go to jail for growing industrial hemp," Harrelson said. "To me they're sending out a very strong message." "Now it's time to start promoting the growth of hemp so we can have a great economic future in Kentucky," said Former Kentucky Governor Louie Nunn, a member of the actor's defense team. "We need to educate people about the distinction between marijuana and hemp." The Kentucky House of Representatives approved House Bill 855 to allow for the commercial production of industrial hemp as an agricultural product this winter. The legislation was in the Senate Rules Committee when the legislature recessed in April. For more information, please contact Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director at (202) 483-5500.

Annual Report Shows 2.3 Million Tried Marijuana For First Time In 1998

Washington, DC: According to the 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, an estimated 2.3 million people tried marijuana for the first time during 1998, which amounts to about 6,400 new marijuana smokers a day. Among youth age 12 to 17, the perceived risk of marijuana use went down from 30.8 percent in 1998 to 29.0 percent in 1999. The annual report also indicated that although the statistics were not significant, marijuana use increased for adults ages 18-25 from 13.8 percent in 1998 to 16.4 percent in 1999 and that marijuana decreased for youths aged 12-17 from 8.3 percent in 1998 to 7.0 percent in 1999. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751. To view the report visit www.samsha.gov

Drug Czar Lied To Congress, Secretly Taped Phone Calls

Washington, DC: U.S. drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey's operating tactics came into question again this week in two new articles. Insight published a story that alleges McCaffrey lied to Congress by manipulating data on a drug use study, while Newsweek reported that McCaffrey has been secretly taping phone conversations with journalists. The ONDCP manipulated data without reporting changes in it's "Performance Measures of Effectiveness: 2000 Report," a violation of federal law which requires the ONDCP to point out any changes it makes to the reporting system. One of the goals listed by the ONDCP is to "increase the percentage of youth who perceive drug use as harmful" to 80 percent by 2002. The ONDCP claimed they were on target, but in 1996-1999 the percentage of 12th-graders who believed that drugs were harmful dropped from 59.9 percent to 57.4 percent. Insight indicated that this goal should not have been considered "on target." The ONDCP changed the base year from 1996 to 1998, thus making the downward trend seem less severe. Perhaps more significantly, the ONDCP then changed the target group from seniors in high school to 8th-graders, where 73 percent view drug use as dangerous, thus bringing the ONDCP within seven percentage points to their 80 percent goal. Insight reported that ONDCP did point out other changes it made in its
reporting system. A spokesperson for the ONDCP said "We weren't trying to pull anything sneaky here," Newsweek learned that the ONDCP head has been secretly taping phone conversations with reporters after over two dozen audiocassettes were turned over in response to a 1997 demand for evidence in a lawsuit. One reporter, drug war proponent A.M. Rosenthal, who was discussing with McCaffrey how to attack medical marijuana financier George Soros, said, "I don't recall anybody telling me they were going to record this." Anita Manning, a USA Today reporter who found out she was caught on tape by McCaffrey said, "This is just creepy." Although it is legal in Washington, DC to tape phone conversations without prior consent, ONDCP spokesperson Bob Weiner said the drug office "may have screwed up" in this incident."Maybe they 'screwed up' appears to be the ONDCP's mantra this year," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director. "Let's recall that earlier this year that the ONDCP also 'screwed up' by embedding secret government-approved anti-drug themes into popular network television programming. Also, the ONDCP admitted that it was 'wrong' to secretly track visitors to the ONDCP's web of internet sites. Representative John Conyers (D-MI) and the rest of the Congressional black caucus is spot on with their public demand that Gen. McCaffrey should immediately resign." For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.

U.S. Supreme Court Halts Marijuana Distribution By Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative

Washington, DC: Acting on an emergency request from the Department of Justice, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday voted 7-1 to prohibit cannabis distribution by the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative to patients who qualify for the federal medical necessity defense while the case is on appeal. The case was originally brought as a civil suit to force the closure of several northern California patients' cooperatives who had begun distributing cannabis as a medicine to patients who qualify under Proposition 215, the California medical marijuana law. "This is a small bump in the road and the important issues in this case will be decided later," said Robert Raich, Esq., lawyer for the OCBC. "It is
a travesty that the Clinton-Gore administration is trying so vigorously to keep the only medicine that works away from patients who so desperately need it." On August 11, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied the federal government's request for an emergency order to stop the OCBC from distributing cannabis to patients who qualify as having a medical necessity. Government lawyers then sought the emergency ruling from Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who referred the request to the full Court. Writing in dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens said the government "has failed to demonstrate that the denial of necessary medicine to seriously ill and dying patients will advance the public interest or that the failure to enjoin the distribution of such medicine will impair the orderly enforcement of federal criminal statutes." "While the issuance of this injunction by the high court was a disappointment, the Court was ruling on a narrow procedural issue," said Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director. "The far more important question of whether the protection afforded patients under Proposition 215 is valid was not before the Court at this time. Despite this ruling, Prop. 215 remains in effect in California." For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director at (202) 483-5500 or Robert Raich, Esq., lawyer for the OCBC at (510) 338-0700.

To become a member or to attend a local NORML chapter meeting please contact the chapter directly for dates, time and location.

3400 E. Speedway #118
PMB 160
Tuscon, AZ 85716
Phone: (520) 323-2947
Contact: Mary Mackenzie Crow
E-mail: 4norml@fcmail.com

Web Site: http://www.come.to/az4norml
Las Vegas NORML
PO Box 34473
Las Vegas, NV 89133
Phone: (702) 380-7869
Web Site: http://www.lvnorml.com
Arkansas NORML
PO Box 191031
Little Rock, AR 72219
Phone: (501) 568-1598
Contact: Glen Schwarz
E-mail: LRNORML@juno.com
Web Site: http://www.alltel.net/~


New Hampshire
C/O The Law Offices of Twomey and Sisti
387 Dover Road
Chichester, NH 03234
Phone: (603) 682-9077
Fax: (707) 220-0268
Contact: Phil Greazzo
E-mail: nhorml@yahoo.com
California NORML - State Chapter
2215-R Market St. Suite 278
San Francisco, CA 94114
Phone: (415) 563-5858
Contact: Dale Gieringer
E-mail: CaNORML@igc.org
Web Site: http://www.canorml.org
New Mexico
New Mexico NORML
P.O. Box 51771
Albuquerque, NM 87181
Phone/Fax: 505-275-6886
Contact: Ed McWilliams
E-mail: ed_mcwilliams@hotmail.com
Web Site: http://www.nmnorml.org
Bakersfield NORML
P.O. Box 41893
Bakersfield, CA 93304-9998
Phone: (805) 397-0766
Contact: Doug McAfee
New York
2840 Broadway #165
New York, NY 10025
E-mail: norml@columbia.edu
Los Angeles NORML
8749 Holloway Dr.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (310) 652-8654
Contact: Bruce Margolin, Esq.
SUNY New Paltz
P.O. Box 775
New Paltz, NY 12561
Phone: (914) 255-7609 x2
E-mail: newpaltznorml@usa.net
Web Site: http://www.newpaltz.edu/norml
P.O. Box 82
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Phone: (805) 966-2001
Contact: Lisa Lipman
North Carolina
Carolina NORML
25-B Lystra Hills Lane
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
Phone: (919) 933-2636
Contact: David Holmes
E-mail: normlunc@hotmail.com or dholmes7@email.unc.edu
Web Site: http://www.unc.edu/student/orgs/norml
Colorado State Coordinator
149 West Maple Ave.
Denver, CO 80223
Phone: 303-722-3929
Contact: Tom Carberry, Esq.
E-mail: jirkovsky@pcisys.net
Northcoast NORML
P.O. Box 771154
Cleveland, OH 44107
Phone: (216) 521-WEED
Contact: John Hartman, President
E-mail: NCNORML@aol.com
Web Site: http://www.timesoft.com/ncnorml/
Western Connecticut State University NORML
Box #77
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06811
Phone: (203) 730-8260
Contact: Joshua Massi
E-mail: joshuanassi@hotmail.com,


Oklahoma NORML
P.O. Box 12545
Oklahoma City, OK 73157
Phone: (405) 840-HEMP
Fax: (405) 447-4619
Contact: Norma Sapp
E-mail: ekco@swbell.net
Florida NORML
703 North Main St., Ste. A
Gainesville, FL 32601
Phone: 352-373-8000
Fax: 352-373-8400
Contact: Jeffrey Meldon
Email: jmeldon@ccgnv.net
Portland NORML
PO Box 86694
Portland, OR 97286-0694
Phone: (503) 777-9088
Contact: Perry Stripling
E-mail: PdxNorml@pdxnorml.org
Web Site: http://www.pdxnorml.org/
Florida State University NORML
2607 Hartsfield Rd. A
Tallahassee, FL 32303
Phone: 850-523-0395
Contact: Abbey Tyrna
E-mail: aat2203@garnet.acns.fsu.edu
Fayette County NORML
264 West Main St.
Uniontown, PA 15401
Phone: (724) 437-5809
Fax: (724) 439-4473
Contact: Gregg Byers
E-mail: Normlfc@hhs.net
Web Site: http:/www.hhs.net/~greggb
Idaho NORML State Coordinator
Contact: Tim Teater
Phone: (208) 342-7616
Penn. State NORML
University Park PA
Phone: (814) 863-8332
Contact: Ben Norman
Rockford NORML
P.O. Box 1786
Rockford, IL 61110-0286
Phone: (888) 357-5405 (toll-free)
Contact: E. J. Pagel
E-mail: ejpagel@netscape.net
Web Site: http://sites.netscape.net/ejpagel
South Dakota
South Dakota NORML
HC 89 Box 184-A
Hermosa, SD 57744
Phone: 605-255-4032
Contact: Bob Newland, President
Email: newland@rapidcity.com
Web Site: http://www.sodaknorml.org
Indiana NORML
3601 North Pennsylvania Street
Indianapolis, IN 46205-3435
Phone: (317) 923-9391
Contact: Stephen W. Dillon
E-mail: dillonlaw@prodigy.net
East River Chapter of South Dakota NORML
44670 308th St.
Mission Hill, SD 57046
Phone: 605-661-7311
Contact: Deborah Cook
E-mail: debcook@sd.cybernex.net
Web Site: http://www.sodaknorml.org
Purdue NORML
204 South Street #145
W. Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: (765) 477-9233
Contact: Mark Petersen
E-mail: norml@expert.cc.purdue.edu
Web Site: http://expert.cc.purdue.edu/~norml
506 Michigan Ave.
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Phone: (865) 482-7335
Contact: Rachel Sewell Nesteruk
E-mail: rsewell@utk.edu or lsmith@metaculture.net
Web Site: http://www.metaculture.net/normlutk
P.O. Box 1136
Ames, IA 50014
Phone: 515-268-4885 or 515-292-7606
Fax: 515-292-1922
Contact: Derrick Grimmer, Director
Texas NORML State Coordinator
4317 Fawnhollow
Dallas, TX 75244
Phone: (972) 392-0959
Fax: (972) 392-0077
Contact: Rick D. Day
E-mail: rickday@aol.com
Web Site: http://www.normltexas.org
P.O. Box 4091
Des Moines, IA 50333
Phone: (515) 288-5798
Contact: Carl Olsen, Director
E-mail: iowanorml@home.com
Web Site: http://www.commonlink.com/


Houston NORML
11191 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77042-3222
Phone: (713) 783-5755
Contact: Steve Nolin
E-mail: houstonnorml@yahoo.com
Web Site:


NORML at Grinnell College
PO Box 11-36
Grinnell, IA 50112
Phone: (515) 269-3392
Contact: Steve Poland
E-mail: tiger_chi@hotmail.com
Southwestern University NORML
S.U. Box 7282
Georgetown, TX 78626-6144
Contact: Stephen Smajstrla
E-mail: SMAJ5@aol.com
P.O. Box 820
Andover, KS 67002
Phone: (800) KSC-4224
Contact: Maike Warren, Mike Boast
E-mail: KSNORML@aol.com
Web Site: http://hometown.aol.com/ksnorml/


P.O. Box 654
Blacksburg, VA 24063
Phone: (540) 268-1162
Contact: Michael Krawitz
E-mail: norml@vt.edu
Web Site: http://www.vt.edu:10021/org/NORML/
MetroWest NORML of Massachusetts
1257 Worchester Rd. #129
Framingham, MA 01701
Phone: (508) 628-3008
Contact: Jim Pillsbury
E-mail: jpills6930@aol.com
NORML Citizens of JMU
Box #8076 in Taylor Down Under
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Contact: Bryan Pollard
E-mail: club-jmu420@jmu.edu
Mass Cann NORML
P.O. Box 266
Georgetown, MA 01833-0366
Phone: 781-944-2266
Contact: Bill Downing, Pres.
E-mail: masscann@pobox.com or epeggs@aol.com
Web Site: http://www.masscann.org/
Washington NORML
Affiliate/Hemp Coalition
PO Box 27496
Seattle, WA 98125
Phone: 206-781-5734
Contact: Dominic Holden
E-mail: dom@hemp.net
Web Site: http://www.thehempcoalition.org
Pioneer Valley NORML (UMACRC)
UMASS SAO Box #2 Room 322
UMASS, Amherst, MA 01003
Phone: (413) 545-1122
Contact: Jason Burk
E-mail: burks@massed.net
Web Site: http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~verdant
NORML of South Puget Sound
PO Box 354
Chehalis, WA 98532
Phone: 360-740-9596
Contact: Lee Newbury
E-mail: LCnorml@aol.com
Michigan State Coordinator
255 N Center Ste 1
Saginaw, MI 48603
Phone: (517) 799-4641 or (517) 239-9000
Fax: (517) 799-6850
Contact: Gregory Carl Schmid
Email: gschmid@concentric.net
West Virginia
West Virginia NORML
P.O. Box 453
Buckhannon, WV 26201
Phone: 304-472-3550
Contact: Tom Thacker
E-mail: wvnorml@planetmarijuana.com
Traverse City NORML
10329 Elk Lake Rd.
Williamsburg, MI 49690
Phone: (616) 264-9565
Contact: Bill Bustance
Wisconsin NORML
P.O. Box 22081
Green Bay, WI 54305
Phone: (920) 339-9981
Contact: Bobbie Brien
E-mail: wisconsin-norml@msn.com
Mid Michigan NORML
P.O. Box 4935
East Lansing, MI 48826
Contact: Tom Elliott
E-mail: midmichnorml@hotmail.com
U. of Wisc. at Fox Valley NORML
1478 Midway Rd.
Menasha, WI 54952
Phone: 920-231-8163
Contact: Jon Doemel
E-mail: jdoemel@vbe.com
Michigan Technological University NORML Chapter
106 Memorial Union Building
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931-1295
E-mail: norml-l@mtu.edu

New South Wales NORML
GPO Box 91
Sydney, NSW Australia 2001

P.O. Box 50665
Minneapolis, MN 55405-0665
Phone: (612)871-8780
Contact: David Lach Collins, State Director
E-mail: normlmn@normlmn.com
Web Site: http://www.normlmn.com
NORML Saskatchewan
Lorie Johnson
PO Box 4, RR #1
Watrous, Saskatchewan SOK 4T0
Phone: (306) 946-2776
E-mail: norml@sk.sympatico.ca
Missouri NORML
15 N. 10th St.
Columbia, MO 65201
Phone: (573) 443-6866
Fax: (573) 442-1413
Contact: Dan Viets
E-mail: monorml@theheadoffice.com
Web Site: http://www.mo-norml.org
Jamaica NORML
PO Box 24, Laughlands
St Ann, Jamaica
Phone: (876) 972-0817
Fax: (876) 794-8087
Contact: Paul Chang, Esq.
E-mail: lgc@infochan.com
St. Louis NORML
P.O. BOX 220243
St. Louis, MO 63122
Phone: (618) 295-3698
Contact: Gene Triefenbach, President
E-mail: monorml@theheadoffice.com
Web Site:


New Zealand
New Zealand NORML
P.O. Box 3307, Shortland St.
Aukland, New Zealand
Contact: Chris Fowlie
Phone: 64-9-302-5255
Fax: 64-9-303-1309
E-mail: norml@apc.org.nz
Web Site: http://www.norml.org.nz
Montana NORML
2401 Brooks, Suite 130
Missoula, MT 59801
Phone: (406)542-8696
Contact: John Masterson
E-mail: norml@montananorml.org
Web Site: http://www.montananorml.org/
sited from NORML's web site. www.norml.org

National Organization for Reforming Marijuana Laws

Phone: (402) 330-8736
Contact: Paul Tripp
E-mail: paultrip@home.com
help fight injustice by becoming a member today and make your voice one thats heard!

Indiana Court Of Appeals Rules Random Student Drug Tests Are Unconstitutional

Indianapolis, IN: On Monday, the Indiana Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that students cannot be forced to take a drug test in order to play sports, take part in after school activities and park an automobile on campus. The panel of judges in the case based much of their decision on Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana State Constitution which states, "[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search, or seizure, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized." In writing the decision, Justice Patrick D. Sullivan wrote "the purpose of Article 1, Section 11 is to protect the 'areas of life that Hoosiers regard as private'...The framers of the Indiana Constitution intended to protect the people from abuses of police power. We see no reason to depart from requiring individualized suspicion to protect against the abuses associated with blanket suspicionless searches of school children." "The Indiana test regarding searches and seizures has always been one of reasonableness. When focusing upon the reasonableness of the official behavior in the instant case, we hold that Northwestern School Corporations' policy of conducting suspicionless drug testing of students participating in athletics, extracurricular or co-curricular activity, or those who drive to school is unconstitutional." The court stated that schools can only drugtest students if there is probable cause to believe the student is using drugs. The Indiana Civil Liberties Union filed suit for Rosa Linke and her younger sister Reena last year after they protested the school's drug testing policy. Both participated in the National Honor Society, the school's prom committee and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. "Schools put a stipulation on students by saying in order to make yourself the kind of person who can get into college, and get a scholarship, you have to submit to a random drug test," said Rosa Linke, who has since graduated high school and is attending college. "I have the right to take the position that I will not pee in a cup for them." For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751. To read the ruling visit: http://www.state.in.us/judiciary/opinions/wpd/08210001.pds.doc

Maryland School District Repeals Student Drug Testing Policy

Easton, MD: On August 16, Talbot County, MD school officials agreed to end student drug testing, settling a lawsuit filed by Easton High School students, parents and the American Civil Liberties Union. In January, a student told school officials that a group of 18 students attended a party where drugs and alcohol were present. The students were then dragged from their classes and forced to line up on the auditorium stage and submit urine specimens for drug screens. Female students were asked personal and embarrassing questions, such as if they were on birth control pills (which can cause a false positive on some drug screens) in front of their peers. The students were told they would be suspended and possibly expelled if they did not submit to the drug tests. According to the settlement, the school system must: pay an undisclosed amount in damages and all legal fees to the students, arrange a meeting of school board President Steven Harris, Superintendent J. Sam Meek, students and parents to hear student complaints and to apologize "for any harms the students suffered," remove any mention of drug testing from the students' files and conduct an internal review of the conduct of Meek, the school principal Timothy Thurber, county Health Department drug counselor Sarah Smith and pupil service coordinator Beth Nobbs. Graham Boyd, who heads the ACLU national drug program said this case may cause other school systems to review policies. "A majority of schools in this country do not do this kind of drug testing," Boyd said. "In most cases, officials decide it's expensive, ineffective in stopping drug use and subject to these kinds of abuses. But, to my knowledge, this is the first time a school system has admitted wrong, paid damages and dropped the policy." For more information, please contact Graham Boyd of the ACLU at (203)787-4188.

Three New Jersey Students File Suit Against Random Drug Testing

Newark, NJ: Last Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey filed a lawsuit on behalf of three students in Hunterdon County High School who are challenging the school's random drug testing program. Students at the school who wish to park a car on campus, participate in sports or extra-curricular activities must pass a random drug test. The school's drug testing policy is set to go into effect on September 8. J.C. Salyer, an attorney with the ACLU, said the drug testing policy violates student privacy rights under the New Jersey State Constitution and provides no justifiable reason for testing the students. The three students represented in the lawsuit include a varsity gymnast, a Model United Nations participant and a writer with the school's on-line literary magazine. For more information, please contact Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director at (202) 483-5500.

Ontario High Court Calls Canadian Marijuana Law Unconstitutional

Gives Parliament A Year To Change Law Or Marijuana Will be in Toronto, Ontario: The Ontario Court of Appeals this Monday called Canada's prohibition of marijuana "unconstitutional" and said if Parliament does not amend the law to allow for medical use within a year, marijuana possession for all Ontario residents will be legal. The appeals court ruled that Canadian law fails to recognize that marijuana can be used as a medicine for patients with chronic illnesses. The case involves Terrence Parker, a patient who suffers from
debilitating epileptic seizures, and was charged with marijuana possession under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Under the act, it is illegal to possess or cultivate marijuana unless patients are granted exemptions by Canada's health minister. The appeals court suggested Parliament write into the law a nationwide medical marijuana exception. Judge Marc Rosenberg, J.A., in the decision wrote, "I have concluded that the trial judge was right in finding that Parker needs marijuana to control the symptoms of his epilepsy. I have also concluded that the prohibition on the cultivation and possession of marijuana is institutional...I have concluded that forcing Parker to choose between his health and imprisonment violates his right to liberty and security of the person. I have also found that these violations of Parker's rights do not accord with the principles of fundamental justice." Rosenberg ruled that Parker, for his medical use, will be exempt from Canada's marijuana laws while Parliament attempts to rewrite the laws."This decision will open doors across the country for sick Canadians who need cannabis to help alleviate symptoms such as nausea and vomiting," said Parker's lawyer Aaron Harnett. For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director at (202) 483-5500. The decision can be found at: http://www.ontariocourts.on.ca/decisions/2000/july/parker.html

U.S. Justice Department Petitions Supreme Court To Overturn OCBC Ruling

Washington, DC: The United States Justice Department filed a petition of certiorari last Friday asking the Supreme Court to review a Sept. 19, 1999 decision of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, allowing the
distribution of marijuana to patients who qualify for a medical necessity defense. The U.S. also filed for an emergency order from the 9th Circuit staying District Judge Charles Breyer's July 17th ruling allowing the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative to resume distribution to qualified patients, pending a review by the Supreme Court. The Justice Department stated the appeals court decision was "directly at odds with Congress' express finding that marijuana has no currently accepted use."The Supreme Court will not decide whether to review the case until the new term of the Court begins in October. "It is disappointing that the federal government is trying to prevent patients in need from having access to the medicine they require," said Robert Raich, Esq., the OCBC attorney."It's especially ironic that our government uses every legal appeal possible to continue to deny marijuana as a medicine to those who need it, while the courts in Canada are saying, 'either exempt medical users or we'll throw out the entire law,'" said Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director. For more information, please contact Robert Raich, Esq., at (510)338-0700 or Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director at (202) 483-5500.

9th Circuit Says Immigrants Cannot Be Deported For Expunged Drug Offenses

San Francisco, CA: The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has overturned an Immigration and naturalization Service policy that had required the deportation of legal immigrants for any drug offense, including the simple possession of marijuana. The appeals court ruled that immigrants convicted for the first time of minor drug crimes cannot be deported if their convictions have been expunged under the Federal First Offender Act, or a similar state expungement statute. For example, expungement is offered in California for first-time drug offenders who complete probation without violating its conditions, including passing random drug tests and drug rehabilitation. The case involved immigrants from Arizona and Idaho whose drug convictions were expunged under their respective state laws, but who faced deportation in 1997 when the INS argued that the expungement protections were eliminated by a 1997 federal immigration law. The appeals court, in a unanimous decision written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt, stated that Congress failed to "provide any indication in the immigration statute that the new law was intended to displace the Federal First Offender Act." "As there is no rational basis for a federal statute that treats persons adjudged guilty of a drug offense under state law more harshly than persons adjudged guilty of the identical offense under federal law, the petitioners may not be deported for their first-time simple drug possession offenses," Reinhardt wrote. For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director at (202) 483-5500.

Medical Marijuana Clubs In California Can Legally Distribute To Some Patients

Oakland, CA: U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer modified a 1998 injunction this Monday against the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative that will now allow the group to legally distribute marijuana to seriously ill patients who qualify for a medical necessity defense. Last September, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Breyer to reconsider his injunction against the OCBC and consider "the criteria for a medical necessity exemption," under federal law. The following month, the U.S. Justice Department asked the 9th Circuit to reconsider that decision, and the court refused. "The government continues to press arguments which the 9th Circuit rejected, including the argument that the court must find that enjoining the distribution of cannabis to seriously ill individuals is in the public interest because Congress has prohibited such conduct in favor of the administrative process regulating the approval and distribution of drugs," Breyer wrote in modifying his injunction. "As a result of the government's failure to offer any new evidence in opposition to defendants' motion, and in light of the Ninth Circuit's opinion, the Court must conclude that modifying the injunction as requested is in the public interest and exercise its equitable discretion to do so." "We applaud the wisdom of the judicial branch of government which now recognizes what the citizens of every state already know, that sick patients should have legal access to the medicine they need," said Robert Raich, Esq., attorney for the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said it is important that patients in California understand that the criteria required to qualify for the medical necessity defense in federal court are different from, and far more difficult to meet, than the requirements of Proposition 215. "Many patients protected from state prosecution by Proposition 215 will still be vulnerable to a misguided federal prosecutor who chooses to initiate a federal prosecution," Stroup said. "Nonetheless, this is still a major victory for patients in California." For more information, please contact Robert Raich, Esq., at (510) 338-0700 or Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director at (202) 483-5500.

San Francisco Issues Medical Marijuana ID Cards

San Francisco, CA: Medical marijuana patients in San Francisco can now obtain identification cards from the city of San Francisco that allow for easier access to marijuana and also protect them from marijuana arrests under the state's medical marijuana law. The new identification card program kicked off last Friday. The card costs $25 and can be obtained at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Patients need to provide a doctor's recommendation to receive the card. The cards will only have the patient's picture and a serial number on it in order to protect the patient's privacy. The San Francisco Department of Public Health will not maintain a list of patients' names or application documents. Wayne Justmann, director of the San Francisco Patients Resource Center and the recipient of the first card issued under the new program, said the cards are "another brick in the path paving the way to legal use of medical marijuana." "This card recognizes the right of every medical cannabis patient to use cannabis in a safe and effective manner," said San Francisco Supervisor Mark Leno who sponsored the ordinance that created the cards. "The police need to understand this card deserves 100 percent respect." For more information, please contact Wayne Justmann at (415) 552-8653.

Risk Of Marijuana Arrest Varies Greatly From State To State, County To County
Washington, DC: The risk of being arrested for marijuana smoking is far greater in some states than others, and far greater in some counties within a state than in other counties within that same state. A marijuana smoker in Alaska or New York, for example, is three times more likely to be arrested than a marijuana smoker in Pennsylvania, North Dakota or Hawaii. Similarly, a smoker in New York City is nine times more likely to be arrested than a smoker in Nassau County, New York; and a smoker in Trinity County, California, is nine times more likely to be arrested than a smoker in Lassen County, California.

These are the conclusions from a new study released today by the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC. According to the study's author, public policy analyst Jon Gettman, Ph.D., 38% of all marijuana arrests in the United States, nearly 700,000 each year, occur in only 10 counties. The complete study, including state and national maps, Dr. Gettman's commentary and analysis, and charts ranking the 50 states and counties within each state, is available online (www.norml.org).

Gettman reviewed county and state marijuana arrest data nationwide from 1995-97. Detailed data were not available for the District of Columbia, Kansas and Vermont. Arrest counts and rates are provided in the report for 2,951 of the nation's 3,140 counties, accounting for 95.5% of the total estimated marijuana arrests for the year. "While total marijuana arrests appear to be leveling off, they remain at the highest levels in United States history, both in absolute numbers and in terms of arrest rates," Gettman said. "The greater the level of arrests the more important it has become for the government to justify these arrests and the accompanying economic and social costs."

County Data

Fulton County, Georgia claimed the most marijuana arrests per 100,000 population (775.76) in counties over 250,000 people, with Douglas County, Nebraska (769.82) a close second (table 1).

Smaller counties had the highest marijuana arrest rates in the country. Texas contained five counties in the top 10 arrest rates and 12 in the top 25. The national average marijuana arrest rate was 256 per 100,000
people. Hudspeth, Texas, a county with a population of 3,079 on the U.S. and Mexican border, had the highest arrest rate in the country at 6,430.66 per 100,000 residents --- about one out of every 15 people.
Daggett County, Utah, a popular tourist area near both Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, with a population of only 794, had the second highest arrest rate in the country at (5,289.67) (table 2).

Statewide Data

In 1997, Alaska had the highest arrest rate with 417.71 people arrested on marijuana charges per 100,000 population, followed closely by New York at 404.59 (table 3). The marijuana arrest rate was the lowest in
Pennsylvania with 125.57 per 100,000 population, followed by North Dakota (131.05) and Hawaii (134.37) (table 4).

Police in New York state by far arrested the highest number of people on marijuana charges with 73,380, followed by California (58,068) and Texas (54,731) (table 5). The state with the lowest number of marijuana arrests was North Dakota (840), followed by Delaware with 1,376 arrests (table 6).

"This report will help elected officials, other policy makers and the general public better understand the massive scope of marijuana prohibition and the enormous fiscal and social costs of continuing to arrest responsible marijuana smokers," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director. "This study refutes, on a county by county basis, the claim that 'no one gets arrested for marijuana smoking anymore.' The uneven enforcement patterns among the states, and between counties within the same state, suggests selective enforcement, racial profiling and other unfair practices may play a role in determining who gets arrested in America on marijuana charges."

The NORML Foundation is a Washington, DC based non-profit educational foundation that works to help the country better understand the costs of marijuana prohibition and the benefits of alternative policies, and
provides legal support and assistance to victims of the current laws.

Table 1
County Highest Arrest Rate Per 100,000 (counties over 250,000)
Fulton, GA 775.76
Douglas, NE 769.82
Guilford, NC 696.58
New York, NY 646.75
E. Baton Rouge, LA 634.48
Bronx, NY 633.10
Queens, NY 632.59
Richmond, NY 632.51
Kings, NY 632.43
Jefferson, TX 624.06

Table 2
County Highest Arrest Rates Per 100,000 (counties under 100,000)
Hudspeth, TX 6,430.66
Daggett, UT 5,289.67
Brooks, TX 4,988.56
Sutton, TX 2,948.94
Massac, IL 2,836.14
Kimble, TX 2,492.57
Toole, MT 2,469.85
Mason, IL 2,419.07
Jim Hogg, TX 2,356.22
Worcester, MD 2,267.35

Table 3
State Highest Arrest Rate Per 100,000
Alaska 417.71
New York 404.59
Nebraska 384.25
Mississippi 379.46
S. Carolina 379.44
Arizona 357.69
Georgia 337.99
Utah 330.50
Louisiana 327.53
Arkansas 318.69

Table 4
State Lowest Arrest Rate Per 100,000 People
Pennsylvania 125.57
North Dakota 131.05
Hawaii 134.37
New Hampshire 158.99
Florida 162.41
Montana 179.29
California 179.96
West Virginia 182.98
Massachusetts 183.10
Michigan 183.57

Table 5
State Highest Total Marijauna Arrests
New York 73,380
California 58,068
Texas 54,731
Illinois 33,706
Georgia 25,302
Ohio 24,535
Florida 23,800
N. Carolina 23,008
New Jersey 22,981
Virginia 17,966

Table 6
State Lowest Total Marijuana Arrests
North Dakota 840
Delaware 1,376
Montana 1,576
Hawaii 1,595
South Dakota 1,662
Alaska 1,865
Rhode Island 2,223
Idaho 2,854
Maine 3,310

Report Declares ONDCP 'A Troubled Bureaucracy' Says McCaffrey Is 'Difficult To Work For'

Washington, DC: According to the Boston Globe, an independent review mandated by a House and Senate conference committee has found the White House drug czar's office to be an "understaffed and troubled bureaucracy led by a director who is 'high pressure and military-oriented,' driving many career professionals to quit." The congressional committee hired PricewaterhouseCoopers to review the Office of National Drug Control Policy after concern grew about problems in employee retention and drug czar Barry McCaffrey's management style. The 53-page report may be released this week. The report states that it takes 20 full-time employees to manage McCaffrey's schedule, about one-seventh of the staff. The report describes McCaffrey's leadership style as "aggressive, high-pressure and military oriented," and many interviewed by PricewaterhouseCooper said "He's difficult to work for." The report states "Under the current directorship, a military structure has been imposed on a previously civilian culture. As incompatibilities have developed, people have made the decision to leave." In 1999 the ONDCP had a 27 percent turnover rate and PricewaterhouseCooper estimates a 38 percent turnover this year as many are expected to leave after the election. The report said that when McCaffrey leaves with the change of administrations, the ONDCP will likely not have a deputy director in place which will hurt the office's continuity. There has not been a deputy director for 73 percent of McCaffrey's reign and as the report states, McCaffrey has instead appointed acting deputy directors which "serve at the pleasure of the director, but confirmed deputy directors (by Congress) can only be dismissed by the President or impeached by Congress." The report states, "[A]uthority and institutional knowledge are concentrated centrally with the current director and ... the knowledge base appears to be weakened and vulnerable." "This soon to be released report appears to confirm what most observers of America's drug policy already know -- the ONDCP is principally a political backwash and has little real impact on the consumption of illegal drugs by Americans," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.

ONDCP Websites Secretly Track Visitors

Washington, DC: The Office of National Drug Control Policy has been secretly tracking internet users who visit two government websites to determine where they have been on the Internet, a clear violation of the recently released Clinton administration's privacy policy for federal agencies. It was reported on Wednesday that "cookies," a computer code that is dropped on to the hard drive of visitors, typically used for tracking online advertising effectiveness, are being placed from the ONDCP's www.freevibe.com and www.theantidrug.com. websites. Ogilvy & Mather, the advertising agency used by the drug czar's office, contracted with Internet advertising company DoubleClick Inc., one of the largest Internet user profilers in the nation. When users type in certain key words relating to drugs on search engines, advertisements for the ONDCP sponsored sites appear. If the visitor clicks on the banner ad, a cookie is then placed on the user's
hard drive. White House press secretary Joe Lockhart condemned this ONDCP practice claiming the White House just learned about this practice and pledged, "We will take all steps necessary to halt these practices now." "This is another outrageous example of 'Big Brother' trying to monopolize public discussion on the issue of marijuana," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director. "It's incredible that an agency of the federal government seeks to track web visitors as well as spend millions of taxpayer dollars buying up most of the relevant words a web viewer employs when researching the topic of 'marijuana.' Can you imagine the Environmental Protection Agency buying the search word environment' or the Department of Health and Human Services buying the search word 'health' and steering web viewers to government web sites? When will this rogue federal bureaucracy be reined in?" St. Pierre concludes, "Even worse, if a web user types 'National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws' into most search engines, the user is immediately exposed to government propaganda in the form of a banner ad against marijuana. The drug czar won't meet with or debate NORML, but he has no problem using our name to spread his lies." For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.

ONDCP Denies NORML Freedom Of Information Act Request

Washington, DC: This week, the Office of National Drug Control Policy declined NORML's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to release all information pertaining to the zero-THC hemp seed importation policy, the effects on drug testing of consuming hemp products and on a proposed legislative ban on hemp products. The drug czar's office stated in a letter to NORML from ONDCP general counsel Edwin Jurith, Esq., that they found "no connection between the public interest...and the legality of the zero-THC hemp seed importation policy; or proposed amendments to the Controlled Substance Act...the documents you request are not likely to contribute significantly to the public's understanding of the operations or activities of the government." "The drug czar, without authorization from Congress, imposed a
restriction on the importation of hemp seed products causing substantial loss to hemp producers and merchants in Canada and the United States," explained Tom Dean, Esq., NORML Foundation Litigation Director. "Documents were leaked indicating the restrictions were intended to protect the drug testing industry. No notice was given prior to the embargo, as is required by the Administrative Procedures Act and NAFTA. Attorney General Janet Reno later declared the restriction illegal and ordered customs to eliminate the trade barrier. Now the drug czar is circulating a secret memo urging Congress to make all hemp products illegal under the Controlled Substances Act. All this, and yet the ONDCP asserts that the information would not contribute to the public's understanding of the operations and activities of the government." For more information, please contact Tom Dean, Esq., NORML Foundation Litigation Director at (202) 483-8751.

Anti-Ecstasy Bill Would Make It Illegal To Distribute Marijuana Information

Washington, DC: A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate to combat "ecstasy" (MDMA) trafficking, distribution and use also contains language banning the dissemination of information on marijuana and other controlled substances. Much like the pending anti-methamphetamine bill (S.486/HR.2987), this anti-ecstasy legislation, Senate Bill 2612, makes it a felony to "teach or demonstrate the manufacture of controlled substance or to distribute by any means information pertaining to, in whole or in part, the manufacture, acquisition, or use of a controlled substance, with the intent that the teaching, demonstration, or information be used for, or in furtherance of, an activity that constitutes a crime." The bill, introduced by Sen. Bill Graham (D-FL) and co-sponsored by Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA), Craig Thomas (R-WY), Joe Biden (D-DE) and Evan Bayh (D-IN), calls for fines and up to 10 years in prison for violators. "This bill, like the anti-meth bill, is a clear infringement of the First Amendment," said Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director. "It would make it a 10 year felony for someone to help a seriously ill patient cultivate marijuana for medicine, even in those states in which medical marijuana is legal under state law. This is just the latest example of the excesses of the war on drugs." For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director at (202) 483-5500.

Washington Voter Initiative Would Decriminalize Marijuana

Seattle, WA: An initiative has been introduced by a group of Washington citizens seeking civil fines instead of criminal prosecution for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Initiative 746, launched by The Reasonable People's Campaign, also calls for treatment, rather than jail time, for non-violent possession of other illegal drugs for personal use. "The vast body of research and growing number of experts in the public health, medical and law enforcement communities now recognize that a shift of emphasis to treatment solutions is long overdue," said Jeff Haley, Co-Chair of the Washington Addiction Treatment Task Force, the official sponsor of I-746. "Treating drug addicts is not just cheaper than incarceration, it's also proven to reduce drug-related violent crime, the spread of HIV/AIDS and other health and social problems much
better than locking people in overcrowded prisons." The Reasonable People's Campaign will attempt to collect the 180,000 signatures by July 7th, via the Internet. This is the first attempt to qualify an initiative in Washington solely relying on e-mail and visitors downloading the petition from the website (www.resonablepeople.org) to collect signatures, as opposed to using paid signature collectors. "We think I-746 is a reasonable, responsible approach to reducing the drug problem," said Robert Lunday, campaign manager for the Reasonable People's Campaign. "We know we've got a formidable challenge to gather more than 180,000 valid signatures in this way by the July 7th deadline, but we think our Internet-based approach offers a variety of significant benefits over paid signature gathering." For more information, please contact Robert Lunday, Campaign Manager, at (206) 781-8144.

Canadian Court Upholds Marijuana Law -Dissenting Justice Finds Jail Sentences Violate Canadian Charter Of Rights-

Vancouver, British Columbia: In a major legal challenge to Canada's marijuana laws, a British Columbia Court of Appeals panel ruled 2-1 last Friday that simple possession of marijuana does not pose a serious or substantial risk, but said legalization should come from Parliament, not the courts. In the majority decision, Justice Tom Braidwood wrote that "I agree that the evidence shows that the risk posed by marijuana is not large...I do not feel it is the role of the court to strike down the prohibition on the non-medical use of marijuana possession at this time. In the end, I have decided that such matters are best left to Parliament." The two appellants, David Malmo-Levine and Randy Caine, were both convicted on marijuana charges. Malmo-Levine was arrested on Dec. 4, 1996 when police found 316 grams of marijuana at his harm reduction club in East Vancouver. Caine was arrested when he was caught smoking a joint with a friend in a parking lot by Royal Canadian Mounted Police on June 13, 1993. Justice Jo-Anne Prowse, in her dissenting opinion, found the provisions of the Narcotic Control Act infringed on the appellants' rights to life, liberty, or security under Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Acknowledging that marijuana may have negative health consequences for the smoker, but does not harm others, the appellants raised a "harm principle" issue which states society can only punish people for activities that harm others. "In my view, the evidence does not establish that simple possession of
marijuana presents a reasoned risk of serious, substantial or significant harm to either the individual or society or others," Prowse wrote. "We may all go to the Supreme Court of Canada to seek leave to appeal at the same time," said NORML Legal Committee member John Conroy, Q.C., who represents Malmo-Levine and Caine. "The issue for the Supreme Court of Canada is which camp is right. It's a good judgement because they clearly all say that the possession and use of marijuana doesn't create a serious
or substantial risk of harm." For more information, please contact John Conroy, Q.C., at (604)852-5110 or Tom Dean, Esq., NORML Foundation Litigation Director at (202) 483-8751.

House Committee Approves Amendments To Higher Education Act

Washington, DC: Last Thursday, the House Committee on Education and theWorkforce passed two amendments to provisions in the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1998, the law that currently disallows federal financial aid packages to students convicted on drug charges. In a minor victory for students, the committee approved an amendment to suspend financial aid to students only if they are convicted while
receiving aid. The current law calls for the loss of aid for any conviction, regardless if the person was in college or not when the conviction occurred. A first time drug conviction, if the student is currently receiving aid, will still be met with a one year suspension of financial aid. A second conviction will result in two years with no financial aid and after a third conviction, the student will be ineligible to receive financial aid.
The second committee-approved amendment to the HEA is much more damaging. The amendment directs the Department of Education to treat students who fail to answer the drug question on their financial aid
forms as ineligible until the question is answered. This year, the Department of Education instructed universities to presume the half million students who left this question blank on their financial aid forms have no drug convictions. The Department of Education has also told universities that they will not be independently verifying the honesty of the students who answered the question. About 3,000 students this year have affirmed on their financial aid forms that they have been convicted of a drug offense. During the hearing, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced an amendment in the committee to strike the drug provision entirely from the HEA. It was defeated by a 31-16 vote. "Those who have been convicted of minor drug crimes should not be restricted from college loans when we don't restrict rapists and armed robbers," Scott said. "It would seem that getting users into college would reduce drug use. We are fighting a philosophical battle as to whether we will reduce crime rationally or with slogans and rhetoric." "Despite the best efforts of Rep. Scott and other fair-minded politicians, Congress appears intent on passing more wasteful and
destructive legislation to punish marijuana smokers," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director. "Hopefully, once the public fully understands the excessive scope of this mean-spirited HEA
provision, they will demand that Congress eliminate this provision." For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.

U.S. Customs Urges Congress To Allow Searches Of Out-Of-Country Mail

Washington, DC: In an effort to curb drug trafficking through the mail, the United States Customs Service is asking Congress to pass legislation which would allow the agency to search all mail leaving the United States. Last Friday, at a hearing titled "Drugs in the Mail: How Can It Be Stopped," held by the House Committee on Government Reform's Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources, the United States Postal Service testified in opposition to the proposal, citing Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. No bill has yet been introduced in the House. "For over two centuries, the American public has had an expectation of privacy in their mail," said Kenneth Newman, the Postal Service's deputy chief inspector for criminal investigations. "[W]hen considering Fourth Amendment protection against warrantless searches, mail is in a special category ... and is entitled to the same protection accorded a person's home. This requires probable cause and a federal search warrant to seize and open mail." "The Postal Service is to be commended for standing up to the heavy hand of the Customs Service," said Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director. "I would suggest they send Customs a copy of the Fourth Amendment, which they apparently have never read." NORML asks citizens who oppose this obvious violation of the Fourth Amendment to contact members of the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy and Human Resources. A list of subcommittee members
is available online at www.house.gov/reform/cj/members.htm. For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director at (202) 483-5500.

Dueling Court Orders Shut Down Annual Weedstock Festival

Fairfield, WI: The 12th annual Memorial Day weekend Weedstock festival was shut down last Friday by police, and 12 arrests were made, including the festival's organizer, Ben Masel. Earlier in the day Masel had obtained a court order prohibiting Sauk County Sheriff Randy Stammen from arresting the festival-goers for
unlawful assembly. Stammen subsequently procured a court order from another county judge ordering the festival be shut down because Masel had failed to get a permit under a recently adopted county ordinance
restricting outdoor events to no more than 1,000 people. Masel, along with the 11 others arrested, was charged with contempt of court for violating the order. "We intend to vigorously litigate the right of freedom of assembly in this case," said Masel's attorney, Jeff Scott Olson, Esq., of Madison, WI. "We believe that all of the county's actions have been taken on the strength of an unconstitutional ordinance." For more information, please contact Jeff Scott Olson, Esq., at (608) 283-6001.

Michigan Lawmakers Proposes A Public Drug Offender Directory

Lansing, MI: A bill has been introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives that would create a public directory of drug offenders. House Bill 5796, known as the "Controlled Substance Offenders
Registration Act," was introduced by Rep. Eileen DeHart (D-Westland). The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Criminal Law and Corrections. Anyone convicted of a drug charge anywhere, but living in Michigan, will have to register for the directory, which will be given to state law enforcement agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The directory will contain the offender's name and any aliases, addresses, physical descriptions and date of birth. The public will be able to view the directory at police departments, and the bill also calls for an electronic version of the directory to be made available to the public. The legislation requires drug offenders to register for whatever term is longer, either 25 years following the date of initially registering or for 10 years after release from a state correctional facility.
"Anyone who does not think that marijuana prohibition has to stop has not read about this newest phase in the war on drugs," said Greg Schmid, Esq., a Saginaw lawyer who is attempting to get a marijuana legalization initiative (Personal Responsibility Amendment 2000) on the 2000 ballot and Michigan NORML Coordinator. "Is an official blacklist something we can live with? Try getting a job, or even an apartment."
For more information, please contact Greg Schmid, Esq., Michigan NORML Coordinator, at (517) 239-9000.

Researcher Finds No Link Between Marijuana And Head, Neck or Lung Cancer

Baltimore, MD: A researcher from Johns Hopkins Medical School has found evidence that marijuana smoking does not increase the risk of head, neck or lung cancers, and based on his findings, says cancer prevention efforts should "remain focused on tobacco and alcohol, two known carcinogens." Daniel E. Ford, M.D., who conducted the study, said he was trying to discover if cancer patients were more likely to smoke marijuana or tobacco, or to drink alcohol as opposed to healthy, 'control' patients. Ford said he thought "[T]he association (between marijuana smoking and cancer) would fall away when we corrected for tobacco use. That was not the case. The association was never there." Ford also found that "daily marijuana use for a month or more was not associated with increased risk, even among those who never used tobacco." This study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal. "It's puzzling why scientific studies which contradict erroneous government assertions about marijuana garner virtually no major media
attention," said Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director. "Yet, similarly non peer-reviewed reports such as a recent one concerning the effects of marijuana use as it relates to potential heart attacks
make for splashy news leads on television and lurid headlines in newspapers. If marijuana is, as it appears to be, a product that is safer than nearly any drug humans consume -- the public should be duly informed."
For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director at (202) 483-8751.

Maryland Governor Signs Industrial Hemp Bill; Study Can Begin In July

Annapolis, MD: An industrial hemp bill establishing a four-year pilot program was signed by Gov. Parris N. Glendening (D) on May 18th. The pilot program will begin on July 1, 2000. The legislation requires
that the state's secretary of agriculture administer the pilot program in consultation with state and federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, which would have to approve any cultivation
plots. According to the legislation, only state owned land may be used to cultivate industrial hemp during the duration of the study. "Legislators and other policy makers in Washington, D.C. will now be forced to at least co-exist with industrial hemp," said Scott Colvin, NORML Publications Director. "Whether they like it or not, hemp will now be in their backyard and they will hopefully learn more about its utility." The bill passed the Maryland House of Delegates on March 31st with a 128-8 vote, and unanimously passed the Maryland Senate on April 2nd. For more information, please contact Scott Colvin, NORML Publications
Director at (202) 483-5500.

San Francisco To Implement Medical Marijuana ID Cards To Protect Patients

San Francisco, CA: San Francisco will be joining the growing list of cities in California that issue medical marijuana identification cards to protect patients from criminal prosecution under state law. San Francisco officials announced that the city Department of Public Health (DPH) will begin to issue the cards to patients within the month. The cards will be valid for two years at a cost of $25. Patients over age 18 will need to show the DPH proof of residency and a valid doctor's recommendation. Patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when applying for the card. The San Francisco city government passed Supervisor Mark Leno's proposal for the ID cards in January and since then have been finalizing details with the DPH, city lawyers and medical marijuana activists. Patients who possess the card will be able to get their marijuana supply from any of the several marijuana buyers' cooperatives operating in the
San Francisco Bay area. For more information, please contact Dale Gieringer, State Coordinator
of California NORML at (415) 563-5858.

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